Thursday, January 28, 2010

Who was that? - Chopper Ried!

A fictionalised version of Read was recently featured in several sketches on The Ronnie Johns Half Hour. Some of these sketches, such as "Harden The Fuck Up!", have gained a cult following among Read's fans in Australia and across the world. Chopper was portrayed by Heath Franklin.

The real Chopper? :-

Don't know how much of this I believe,

From Wiki

Read was born to an ex-army father and a mother who was a devout Seventh-day Adventist. He was placed in a children's home for the first five years of his life. Read grew up in the Melbourne suburbs of Collingwood, Thomastown, Fitzroy and Preston. He was bullied at school, claiming that by the age of 15, he had been on the "losing end of several hundred fights", and that his father, usually on his mother's recommendation, beat him often as a child. Read was made a Ward of the State by the age of 14 and was placed in several mental institutions as a teenager, where, he later claimed, he was subjected to electroshock therapy.

By his mid-teens, Read was already an accomplished street fighter and the leader of the Surrey Road gang. He began his criminal career by robbing drug dealers, based in massage parlours in the Prahran area. He later graduated to kidnapping and torturing members of the criminal underworld, often using a blowtorch or bolt cutters to remove the toes of his victims as an incentive for them to produce enough money so that Chopper would leave them alive.[1]

While in Pentridge prison's H division in the late 1970s, Read launched a prison war. His gang, dubbed "The Overcoat Gang" because they wore long coats all year round to conceal their weapons, were involved in several hundred acts of violence against a larger opposing gang during this period. Around this time, Read had a fellow inmate cut both of his (Read's) ears off in order to be able to leave H division temporarily. While in his early biographies Read claimed this was to avoid an ambush by other inmates, by being transferred to the mental health wing, his later works state that he did so to "win a bet". The nickname "Chopper" was given to him long before this, from a childhood cartoon character. Several other members of Read's gang cut off their own ears after this incident.[citation needed]

Read was ambushed and stabbed by members of his own gang in a sneak attack, when they felt his plan to cripple every other inmate in the entire division and win the gang war in one fell swoop was going too far. Another theory is that James "Jimmy" Loughnan and Patrick "Blue" Barnes wished to benefit from a contract put on Chopper's head by the Dockers. Read lost several feet of intestine in the attack. Ironically, Jimmy Loughnan was a longtime friend of Read's. Read was, at the time, serving a 17-year sentence after attacking a judge in an effort to get Loughnan released from prison.[citation needed]

Described variously as witty, charismatic, sadistic, and frightening, Read admits to being involved in the killing of 19 people and a further 11 attempts. Many of his associates in the underworld claim that Read is prone to making up numbers to increase his own notoriety and the sales of his books. Read himself has stated on numerous occasions that he would "never let the truth get in the way of a good yarn."


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